Dutch company Philips on Monday (April 24) reported an impressive 700% increase in its net profit for the March quarter of 2017. The net profit jumped to €259m (£219m, $281) in the first quarter as compared to the €37m in the year ago period.

Improved operational income and reduced financial charges have been largely attributed to the rise.
Sales also rose to €5.7bn in the March quarter which is 3.6% more than the 2016 first quarter figure.

Philips CEO Frans van Houten remarked that the firm experienced "a very active quarter" and followed through with their "strategic plan" to decrease shareholding stake in the Philips Lighting division to 55%.

"We continued to strengthen our position as a leader in health technology by launching several breakthrough innovations, forging strategic partnerships and winning various integrated solutions deals. The recent STOXX Europe 600 Index reclassification of Philips' shares to 'Health Care' from 'Industrial Goods & Services' acknowledges our transformation into a health technology company", he further added.

"As we execute our strategy, we will further improve our underlying performance and target to deliver 4-6% comparable sales growth and an improvement in Adjusted EBITA margin of around 100 basis points per year. Our outlook for 2017 remains unchanged as we expect further operational improvements and comparable sales growth in the year to be back-end loaded."

Philips, which was best known for its lightbulbs, electrical appliances and television sets, is now focusing on health technology.

Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever had also revealed a strong first quarter sales rise earlier this month.